Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ipswich River - First Paddle of 2011 - April 16, 2011

Although the weather was favorable for us to give it a go, it turned out to be a pretty chilly day on the water. Bill and I set out from Ipswich River Park in North Reading for our first paddle of the season in 2011. The water was average depth; I think it seemed to be down about a foot and a half from when I scouted it a week or so before. Last year during our paddle of similar length the water was much higher. The water flow throughout our entire time on the river was constant and never still. With this being the case, it becomes much easier to navigate the course of the river.

We left from the Ipswich River Park in North Reading and paddled approximately 12 miles of the winding river to Thunder Bridge in Middleton. It was certainly prime mating time for geese and unfortunately in our travels, we inadvertently disrupted some of them, as they squawked at us on several occasions.

We portaged around the Bostik Dam. Although the water was lower than before, the water close to the falls was  too choppy to get in closer, so we had to portage quite a bit around it before getting in. You can view our entire portage of the Bostik Dam in the video below. The best way to go is left, and if you have not approached the dam before, theres not much that tells you theres a decent falls there, so use caution in high water.

Once into Middleton, we continued through the swamp and made it to the South Middleton gauge at Route114 pretty quickly. After 114, the river winds back toward the road as you circle a peninsula that must has a shooting range on it. After that bend, eventually the river heads west further into Middleton. The rest of the way to Thunder Bridge was pretty uneventful, as was most of the trip, but it was good to get out on the water.

We didn't take many photos on this trip, but we did shoot some video. Here is one of Bill going over a blowdown:

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